President of the Republic of Lithuania

Letter to the President from the King of Spain on Lithuania’s centennial

2018-12-18

Tuesday, December 18, Vilnius – President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, President of the Spanish Council of State. She was the first woman Vice President of the Government headed by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

The Council of State is an independent institution which advises and issues recommendations to the Government of Spain on matters related to the constitution, EU law, international agreements, and state administration issues.

The President of the Spanish Council of State delivered a letter from King Felipe and conveyed sincere congratulations to the people of Lithuania celebrating their national centennial.

Bilateral relations between Lithuania and Spain, the EU’s future issues, the situation surrounding Brexit, and preparations for negotiations on the new EU budget were discussed during the meeting. According to the President, Lithuania and Spain continue to maintain strong belief in European values even in the face serious ongoing challenges. Both the people of Lithuania and Spain are among the greatest EU membership supporters.

Lithuania and Spain understand very well that hybrid threats and external attempts to affect democratic elections are stirring up tensions in Western societies. Therefore, both countries actively contribute to strengthening the EU’s joint response. Spain has joined Lithuania’s initiative on cooperation under the framework of PESCO aimed at creating a cyber rapid response force.

The President also emphasized that Spain’s committed contribution to the security of the Baltic States not only sends a strong message of NATO’s solidarity, but also shows that the East and the West see the emerging threats along the same lines.

The Spanish Air Force has been conducting NATO’s air policing mission in Zokniai on a rotating basis for several years now. Lithuania uses Spanish-made border surveillance radars and Spanish troops are part of NATO’s forward presence in Latvia.

Spain sends its troops to missions abroad and it is therefore very important that Council of State should see the threats in our region and support Lithuania.

The two leaders also discussed gender equality. Being the first woman in Spain to hold such a high-ranking position, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega is an active women’s rights advocate. In 2012 she established a special fund to support women in Africa. Amendments to the Spanish criminal code and to other legal acts consolidating gender equality and prohibiting violence were passed at her initiative.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.12.18 15:30

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